Tips for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

If you are age 65 or older, you are about to get bombarded with Medicare marketing messages. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, also known as “AEP,” begins October 15th and ends December 7th.  During this time, people can make changes to their Medicare plans.  Any changes made during AEP become effective January 1st of the […]

Paying for Medicare Premiums

Most everyone on Medicare has some monthly expenses that need to be paid. Although Part A is generally without a premium (for 99% of all Medicare enrollees), Part B does have a premium. If you are collecting Social Security, the government will deduct the premium directly from your Social Security check. Some clients have called […]

Medicare and Home Health Care

Recently, a client inquired about “home health care” services for their disabled spouse who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and now requires nearly 24-hour care. When I had to explain to the client that Medicare does not provide that type of care, I thought it would be worthwhile to describe what home health care […]

How does Inpatient vs. Outpatient Status Affect Your Cost of Care?

When you go to the hospital for services, being classified as “inpatient” or “outpatient” can significantly affect your costs for services such as x-rays, drugs and lab tests, as well as qualifying for care in a skilled nursing facility.  You are considered an “inpatient” beginning when you are formally admitted to a hospital with a […]

Important Medicare Election Periods

Enrolling in Medicare requires a valid “election period.”  While there are a multitude of election periods available, this article highlights those that are most utilized by beneficiaries either first enrolling in Medicare or who may need a change to their Medicare plan during a plan year.  Initial Election Period – When Someone Can First Enroll […]

Prior Authorizations vs Referrals

People often wonder if their Medicare plan requires “prior approval” for health services they may need to obtain.  Almost always, what they mean to ask is “Does my Medicare plan require referrals?” A referral is an order from your Primary Care Doctor (PCP) to see a specialist or receive certain medical services from some providers. […]

Is a MediGap Plan Right for You?

You have a couple of choices when it comes to supplementing original Medicare; a Medigap (also known as a Medicare Supplemental) policy or a Medicare Advantage plan. While Medicare Advantage plans are heavily advertised and often have lower monthly premiums, they can expose the insured to high levels of utilization costs when compared to Medigap […]

Is It Possible to Reduce My Medicare Part B Premium?

If you are paying more than $170.10 per month in 2022 for your Medicare Part B, read on! While most people I speak with who are nearing Medicare age know they must pay certain monthly premiums when they enroll in Medicare, most do not realize that their Medicare premiums can be higher based upon their […]

Difference Between the Medicare Open Enrollment Period and Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, or “AEP,” begins October 15th and ends December 7th.  During the AEP, people can make changes to either their Medicare Advantage Part C plan or their Stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.  Plan changes made during the AEP are effective January 1st. The Medicare Open Enrollment Period, or “OEP,” […]

Medicare Premiums Increases for 2022

Each year Medicare adjusts its premiums and utilization costs for the upcoming year. These adjustments are published by Medicare towards the end of the calendar year and are effective January 1st of the upcoming year. While you can find these costs and premiums on, you will need to peruse the website significantly to gather […]